About / Kuka olen

Jaana Pirskanen is an artist born in the Savo region and based in Helsinki, Finland. They are passionately fascinated with gender and sexuality, and they explore different gendered ways to exist.  They urge to celebrate that what is becoming, those personal and cultural gendered ways of existing that are yet to be developed or which are already here when they are given space to flourish. They do this via performance art, burlesque, drag and video pieces. Laughter, flirt, tease, sublime grotesque beauty and surrealism are present in many of their works, but they also handle themes like mourning, aging and failing. In addition to solo projects they do collaborative art. A lot of their work is about ethics of listening, asking ‘who are you’, about how we are formed within social life and by inhuman forces, at what cost, and how risking oneself in unknowingness in relation to others stands our chance of becoming human and transforming.

Pirskanen performs internationally with their characters Theodora Rex, Rhea Gone and Magnus Love, and teach drag and burlesque workshops. They see no need to differentiate between high and low brow culture, since at the core of performing there’s always the communication with the audience. Theatricality and humour are excellent tools for handling sensitive issues, and they help with creating multiple layers of meaning.

Pirskanen has directed short collaborative documentaries about intersex and transgender issues and made a number of experimental video works. Pirskanen also works as a psychologist. They are educated in contemporary dance, philosophy, psychology and gender studies and get their inspiration from underground cinema, feminist philosophy, vintage Hollywood, painfully rigid gender norms and queer art and theory. Currently they are working on ways to bend their drag art into a gallery space and onto video, and working on a new collaborative art project.
“I dwell in moments where fantasies join everyday realities and open up into new becomings.”

uusi naama

Jaana Pirskanen on Helsingissä asuva savolainen taitelija. Hän on noin 15 vuoden ajan käsitellyt töissään maskuliinisuutta, feminiinisyyttä, sukupuolittuneita normeja, kulttuurin kehoja muovaavaa voimaa, kauneusihanteita sekä monimuotoista seksuaalisuutta ja sukupuolisuutta performanssin, videon, burleskin ja dragtaiteen keinoin. Pirskanen esiintyy aktiivisesti ja kansainvälisesti hahmoillaan Theodora Rex, Rhea Gone ja Magnus Love, ja opettaa drag- ja burleskityöpajoja niin taidetapahtumissa kuin polttareissakin. Pirskanen ei tee eroa korkea- ja populaarikulttuurin välille, sillä hänen mielestään kaikessa esiintymisessä on kyse kommunikaatiosta yleisön kanssa. Teatraalisuus ja huumori ovat hyviä keinoja käsitellä herkkiä asioita ja kietovat työhön useita merkityskerroksia.Pirskanen työskentelee myös psykologina ja on saanut koulutuksensa nykytanssin (tanssitaiteen kandidaatti, Middlesex University Lontoo 2003), filosofian (filosofian maisteri, Tampereen yliopisto 2005) psykologian (psykologian maisteri, Helsingin yliopisto 2015) ja sukupuolentutkimuksen (jatko-opinnot Jyväskylän yliopiston ja Helsingin yliopiston sukupuolentutkimuksen laitoksilla 2005-2008) aloilta.


Integrative psychotherapy, Helsingin yliopisto (degree in 2023)

Studies in psychophysical psychotherapy. Turun yliopisto, 2021

Hautumo, LADAF (Life Art Development Agency of Finland). 2017

Occupation health psychology certificate 2016. The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.

MA Psychlogy, The University of Helsinki, 2009 – 2014. Pro gradu -thesis: The pleiotropic effects of diabetes susceptibility variants on the symptoms of depression

A member of the “Politics of Philosophy and Gender” (PPhiG) Research team (team leader: Professor Tuija Pulkkinen) within the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in Political Thought and Conceptual Change (director: Professor Kari Palonen). Doctoral studies at Gender Studies Department, The University of Helsinki and Jyväskylä. 2005 – 2009.

MA Philosophy, The University of Tampere. Pro gradu -thesis: The Problem of Sexual Difference – Judith Butler’s and Luce Irigaray’s Thought on Sexual Difference Sukupuolieron ongelma – Sukupuolisuuden tarkastelua Judith Butlerin ja Luce Irigarayn teorioiden avulla, 2005.

BA Dance studies, Middlesex University, London.  2001 – 2002. BA Dance Studies at Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Leeds, 1999 – 2001.

Psychology and philosophy studies in the Universtity of Tampere 1995 – 2005.

Studies at Karjaa dance school 1998-1999: contemporary dance, ballet, jazz, african dance, tap, capoeira, improvisation.

Studies at Orivesi dance school 1997-1998: contemporary dance, ballet, jazz, african dance, improvisation.

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